Chicago to Smollett: Pay up $130K+ for investigative costs

Do they take credit cards? Outgoing mayor Rahm Emanuel warned Jussie Smollett that the city would send collectors out to recover the police costs of his hoax hate crime. And when Chicago sends out collectors, they usually mean business — especially when they want $130,106.15.


Er … fifteen cents? Did someone buy a Tic-Tac?

The city of Chicago wants $130,106.15 in the next seven days from actor Jussie Smollett, to cover the cost of the investigation into claims he was attacked in what he described to police investigators as a possible hate crime.

In a letter sent to Smollett in care of his attorneys, the city’s corporation counsel says if Smollett doesn’t pay, the city might prosecute him using Chicago’s municipal code or other legal remedies.

“The city feels this is a reasonable and legally justifiable amount to collect to help offset the costs of the investigation,” city spokesman Bill McCaffrey said.

CNN’s Ryan Young reports that a police protest will take place in Chicago on Monday. That may not sound like news — tensions between Chicagoans and the police are chronic — but this protest has a twist. It will be police doing the protesting over the city’s state attorney cutting a deal with Smollett. That promises to be a fun event, and the city might need Smollett’s cash just to deal with its costs.


Not that they’ll get the money right away, of course. Smollett’s attorneys insist that the $10,000 forfeited bond is all the city will ever see from Smollett, declaring that the “case is closed.” Nor will Smollett stop proclaiming his innocence, such as it is:

An attorney for Jussie Smollett says she is disappointed authorities in Chicago are “continuing their campaign” against the “Empire” actor despite prosecutors dropping the charges against him.

In a statement released late Wednesday, Patricia Brown Holmes noted Smollett forfeited his $10,000 bond as a result of the Cook County prosecutor’s decision, and “the case is closed.”

Brown says no public official has the right to violate Smollett’s due process rights and he is “innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.” She added Smollett has the right to speak freely about his innocence.

If he’s innocent, why did he forfeit the $10K bond?

Just in case this had any chance of dropping out of the headlines, Donald Trump made Smollett a punchline in last night’s rally. “Maybe the only time I’ve ever agreed with the mayor of Chicago,” Trump quipped:


It doesn’t look as though Smollett’s making an effective public case. Might it not be worth $130K to get Chicago off his back — especially if he wants to continue to work there? Should be a fun day on the Empire set when the collectors show up during filming.

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David Strom 12:40 PM | July 24, 2024